All photos by Luke Ballard at Remember Forever Photography
NEW YORK - On Tuesday evening at the Loeb Boathouse in Central Park, the United States Olympic Committee entertained more than a hundred international guests of the Olympic Movement in a prelude to this week's International Forum on Sport for Peace & Development - jointly organized by the United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace and the International Olympic Committee, with the support of the USOC - which will be held at the United Nations headquarters in New York City, June 5-6.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was also in attendance last night and delivered remarks to the various members of the Olympic family, including IOC President Jacques Rogge. The Mayor thanked the USOC for hosting the event and talked about how New York is the perfect venue for the conference, being one of the most international cities in the world and a renowned city for sports - home to some of the biggest franchises and tournaments in the world. Before the event ended, Mayor Bloomberg was presented with his own Team USA jacket on stage by USOC Chairman Larry Probst and USOC CEO Scott Blackmun.
Additionally, Probst presented gifts to Rogge in honor of his 12 years of service in leading the Olympic Movement, including a scholarship, named the Jacques and Anne Rogge Olympic Pathway Scholarship - which will offer a full season of sailing tuition at the Oakcliff Training Center in Oyster Bay, New York. Rogge and his wife, Anne, were also presented with lifetime passes to USA House for all future Olympic Games. The event concluded with a series of tokens of appreciation presented to USOC executives and members of the IOC.
Following last night's festivities is today's start to the third edition of the International Forum on Sport for Peace & Development. The biennial event aims to assess the successes and challenges of using sport as a tool for human development and peace promotion. This year's theme - Creating a Common Vision - will challenge high-level stakeholders from governments, the sporting community, the UN system, the academic and business worlds, civil society groups and the media to debate the impact of sport on achieving the Millennium Development Goals as well as how to move forward with the mainstreaming of sport in development policies and strategies. The participants will also look at other issues which increasingly affect sport and its organization, such as the protection of youth, gender equality and the integrity of sport.
For more information on this year's forum, click here.